Navigation Links
'Neurological work-arounds' offer hope to people with monoamine-related disorders
Date:2/20/2009

Researchers have known for decades that the brain has a remarkable ability to "reprogram" itself to compensate for problems such as traumatic injury. Now, a research article published in the February 2009 issue of the journal Genetics (http://www.genetics.org) suggests that the brain may also be able to compensate for problems with key neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. This finding may open the doors to entirely new lines of research and treatments for a wide range of brain disorders, including addiction, depression, Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia.

David Krantz, Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and Anne Simon, now an Assistant Professor at York College of the City University of New York were the two lead investigators on the study. "Illnesses such as depression, addiction, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease devastate millions of lives each year. Current treatment strategies often fail and remain poorly understood," said Krantz. "In our research, we have discovered a simple way to identify the functional changes that may be associated with these illnesses and to research new drugs."

To reach this conclusion, Krantz, Simon and colleagues bred fruit flies with what should have been a devastating, life-threatening mutation in the vesicular monoamine transporter gene. This mutation caused their brain cells to be unable to release monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Fruit flies were used in the study because they are convenient for genetic experiments and have a set of neurotransmitters that is nearly identical to that of humans. And as is the case with humans, monoamine neurotransmitters are considered necessary for the fly to function normally. The researchers observed that although the mutant fruit flies crawled less as larvae and were infertile as adults, they lived and were surprisingly healthy in many respects. This suggests that there is at least one neurological mechanism that helps them compensate for the lack of monoamine neurotransmitters. The next step is to identify the specific changes that take place in their brains to determine how much of this might be applicable to humans.

"We see this over and over: humans are not so different from the other animals," said Mark Johnston, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Genetics. "By studying simple organisms like the fruit fly, we learn fundamental things about our makeup, even organs as complex as the brain."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey DePellegrin Connelly
td2p@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-1812
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Biologists discover link between CGG repeats in DNA and neurological disorders
2. Deranged calcium signaling contributes to neurological disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
3. MNI researchers locate neurological basis of depression following sports concussion
4. New paper offers key insights into how new species emerge
5. Studies offer guide as protein interaction mapping comes of age
6. UC Davis discovery offers hope for treating kidney cancer
7. International public-private partnership offers new paradigm for medicinal chemistry
8. Rong Li Lab offers insight into adaptive ability of cells
9. New papers offer insights into process of malarial drug resistance
10. Light pollution offers new global measure of coral reef health
11. Ripple effect: Water snails offer new propulsion possibilities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and ... Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... YORK , March 21, 2017 ... Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers ... its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s ... give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations to ... but also on predictions of customer intent drawn ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in Germany ... ... one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... TARRYTOWN, N.Y. , March 22, 2017 Regeneron ... among the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), U.K. Biobank and GSK ... in the U.K. Biobank resource. The initiative will enable researchers ... of new medicines for a wide range of serious and ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017  Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ... TransCon technology to address significant unmet medical needs ... the full year ended December 31, 2016. ... our company as we broadened our pipeline and ... rare disease company with an initial focus on ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Mass. , March 22, 2017 Good ... that it has eclipsed the 130 million covered lives ... Blue Shield of Texas . With ... the Company continues to enjoy strong payor acceptance based ... its clinical programs and genetic counseling, its industry-leading customer ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... --  iSpecimen ®, the marketplace for human ... (DPS), a full-service anatomic pathology reference lab serving ... , has joined a program offered by iSpecimen ... to make human biospecimens and associated data available to ... in 2015 as a collaboration between iSpecimen and DHIN, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: